To a collective sigh of relief, Britain’s political parties enter their last full of week of campaigning ahead of May 7 elections. There have been endless talking points but as yet no turning point.
We’ve been saying it for a week or more and it’s now confirmed – the lack of an economic reform programme forthcoming from Athens means today’s meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Riga can achieve no breakthrough despite glimmers of the two sides moving closer.
The Greek government has sent a reform package to its EU and International Monetary Fund creditors, hoping it will unlock desperately needed funds to stave off bankruptcy.
Currency concerns in the central banking world have come to the fore again.
Sweden cut interest rates further into negative territory out of the blue last week, fearing its strong currency will engender deflation. The Swiss National Bank said it would aim to weaken what it sees as a "significantly overvalued" franc. And the Bank of England flagged the risk that sterling could strengthen further and leave inflation below target for longer.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras meets Angela Merkel in Berlin late today.
The strategy in Athens seems to be to seek mercy from EU leaders, going over the heads of euro zone finance ministers and the European Central Bank and IMF, hoping that they will see the broad political cost of a Greek collapse rather than focus on the nitty gritty of funding and required economic reforms.
That doesn’t look like a winning strategy.
After late-night talks in Brussels with key EU leaders and institutional chiefs, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras assured his creditors that he would soon present a full set of economic reforms in order to unlock cash to stave off bankruptcy.
Not for the first time, Benjamin Netanyahu has defied the odds and snatched electoral victory from the jaws of defeat.
Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog has just conceded although he has not given up hope of forming a coalition government if Netanyahu fails to.